LECCO, Italy (AP) _ An Italian soccer player is out of danger after being in a coma for a week following a locker-room fight with an opponent.

Francesco Bertolotti is slowly starting to speak and respond to commands, doctors said Tuesday.

The condition of the 33-year-old midfielder has gradually improved since Sunday when he first regained consciousness and moved his eyes to acknowledge his wife standing at his bedside in a Lecco hospital.

Doctors said it was too early to say if there would be long-term brain damage.

Prosecutors in Como on Tuesday questioned Massimiliano Ferrigno, the player accused of punching Bertolotti after a lower-division game Nov. 19.

``I want to greet Francesco because I have heard he is better,'' Ferrigno said as he left the prosecutor's office.

Ferrigno was suspended by the Italian soccer federation pending an investigation. His team president says he will never again play for Como again.